Article: Microsoft Grandstanding

A quick Times article on Microsoft’s offer to release SMB/CIFS source code. This isn’t part of the Our Man From Mozilla fortnightly series; it’s a separate comment piece.

As always, thumps with a cluestick are welcome. :-)

4 thoughts on “Article: Microsoft Grandstanding

  1. Good article. I’m glad that such a widely read and respected paper is carrying your articles, bringing a FOSS perspective on these issues to a wider audience.

    It looks like The Times is happy with what you’ve written for them so far – any word of permamance, or even some print articles?

    Keep it up!

  2. Gervase,
    the article is a step above the average coverage of the matter, but that’s not a suprise considering who you are. Still it is somewhat inaccurate.
    The EU commission indeed demanded all that it was necessary, that is a complete and and satisfying documentation, but the counterpart failed to meet such request. And MS is again at it trying to offer something substantially different: the code isn’t what is needed at all and isn’t what is requested (for the reason you outline btw). The equal mean of access to these technologies is a clear and open documentation.
    In this regard the commission has moved quite well and boldly. So it’s not a circus at all. I mean, this last press release from MS speaks for itself: they feel the pressure of a 2million euros a day fine coming.
    Then we come to the process which has been triggered by the appeal MS presented against EU decisions. The Samba team along with FSFE are parts in cause, in fact the last standing ones backing the commission after the private settlement Sun and other companies got. So it doesn’t really make sense to distinguish in this particular case between lawers and politics on one side and free sw hackers on the other.
    If you need further details i can get you in touch with someone directly involved in the dealings.

    Thanks for your coverage. Bye

  3. Dave-B: Our Man From Mozilla, the fortnightly column, is now permanent – or as permanent as these things get, in that I’m going to continue submitting pieces until I run out of time or they get bored of me :-) They also occasionally email me to ask me to write about other breaking news items; this is the first time I’ve said yes.

    Antonio: thanks for the information. I think the key thing that the Commission can’t demand that Samba needs would be legal indemnities against copyright or patent lawsuits for people reading the code. There’s also the wrange about how much would need to be paid for the information.

    I’m not sure 2 million euros a day actually affects MS all that much, given what’s at stake – see my previous times article on the situation.

    I’m not arguing that lawyers are on one side and free software hackers are on the other; I’m just saying that while the lawyers are lawyering, the hackers are coding. The Samba team may well be a part in cause, but they don’t spend most of their time testifying in courts in Europe, they spend it coding on beaches in Australia – hence Samba 4.

    Still, I’m happy to admit my knowledge of the situation is imperfect, and I’ll definitely get in touch if I write something else.